What can I say about Fujishima Kosuke that hasn't already been said? We know he loves vehicles -- and man, does he love to show detail! Those of you who have ever autocrossed would recognise the chirp-chirp-chirp sound of R-compound tires that Mini makes when taking a corner at maximum G's (if you hear a lot of squealing tires, then you're wasting more time sliding sideways than making the turn), and the familiar suspension bounce as tires alternately grab then let go. This is a great show for import car nuts! Vehicle chases aside, what we're left with is another gentle comedy from Fujishima. This time, he's got baddies in the series, but now they're not real bad, and they're faceless. Even in this first episode, the bad guy (the driver of the turbocharged Mini) turns out not to be a bad guy at all.
Animation is top-notch for an OAV series, with painstaking attention paid to the hardware -- to the point where you can recognise most of the vehicles in the show. (Hmmm... sounds like this might be a good candidate for a trivia question!) Some great motion and perspective shots as well; in particular the opening animation when the camera angle goes between Miyuki and Natsumi while a plane flies overhead; just as impressive is the scene where Ken wipes out his bike in some loose sand. Characters are well drawn as well, though most particularily when the females characters get the obligatory "hair-blowing-in-the-breeze" scene.
Characterisations are pretty typical for Japanese animé -- the partners Miyuki and Natumi both have their strengths and weaknesses, and complement each other like a pair of gloves. Voice actors are also very well cast, and I really like the part of Yoriko, played by Kozakura Etsuko. (She'll often steal the scenes she's in.) Where thing's aren't quite as rosy is the story -- not a whole lot of substance here. It's a good thing that this is an introductory episode, and only 25 minutes long.
I do have a beef with AnimEigo's release of the series. Each tape is one episode only, and at $34.00 Cdn per tape, it's one of the most expensive tapes you'll buy. (Works out to over a $1.30 per minute.) If the price is too rich for you, this will make a worthwhile rent. - AN
This is the first episode in another *nice* series by Fujishima. Still, this episode was a lot of fun to watch, especially seeing the partnership between Miyuki and Natsumi grow. The red mini's driver is an interesting person who's background we will learn more about later in this mini-OAV series. If you're at all into cars, it's a bit of a challenge and some great fun trying to identify the different cars which show up throughout this show and indeed the entire series. As an introduction to the characters, we get a feel for certain people here. Nakajima and his liking for Miyuki, Natsumi's great appetite and strength, Miyuki's penchant for tinkering, and of course Yoriko's extremely gossipy nature. The voice acting was better than average, and I especially liked Miyuki's character in this episode. The music while not as strong as for AMG, is again very well done, and can be a bit catchy if you're not careful. All in all, lot's of fun to watch. - JYN